The past few months have been a busy time for adolescents and young adults and those who care for them.
IAAH leadership, our education committee, our International Adolescent Health Week team, and our young professionals were all very active participants in the first ever Global Forum for Adolescents. (See www.1point8.org for more information and the sessions from the forum.) Led by the Partnership for Women’s Children’s and Adolescents Health, the Forum had more than 5600 participants, more than half of the speakers were young people, and new data from What Young People Want, reflecting input from more than 1.2 million adolescents. Many countries made new commitments to financing and services for adolescent health and well-being, as did funders, civil society groups, and health care professional associations, including from IAAH. It was inspiring to hear heads of state and health ministers making clear they were aware of adolescents’ needs and committing resources and people to addressing adolescent health and well-being. Working closely with the International Pediatric Association, along with obstetrics and gynecology, nursing, midwifery, medical students, and others, we have committed to working with other health care groups in each country to convene and advocate for continued and stronger accountable commitments to improving adolescent health care. I hope many of you reading this will find an opportunity to connect with professional societies in your country and ask what you can do to help in advocating for more and better adolescent health services, and for training and a sufficient workforce to bring quality adolescent care to every community, and every youth.
Three new statements were recently released. One on education that had been in the works a long time, and two driven by unfortunate and tragic situations in the world. Please see our Policy Statements page for the complete text for all of these statements. Also, please remember that there is a translation button on our website so you can see these statements in all six of the UN languages: English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, and Chinese.
Our Education Committee’s paper on Education and Training of Health Care Providers, provides a framework for developing and maintaining high quality care for adolescents, and defining roles for IAAH members and multiple other stakeholders in improving adolescent-focused education of healthcare providers globally.
Our Council’s Open Letter on Comprehensive Sexuality Education, recognizing the urgent need for evidence-based information on sexual and reproductive health and rights, and a need for advocates and child and adolescent health leaders to speak out against the misinformation campaigns underway in many countries.
We have selected Jamaica as the site for the 2025 IAAH International Adolescent Health Congress. Mark your calendars for 6-8 November 2025. There will be a call for scientific committee volunteers in addition to other volunteer opportunities. Thank you to all the bidders and congratulations to the Jamaican team! More details to be announced soon.
We are gearing up for International Adolescent Health Week 2024. Dr. Ngozi Oketah will serve as Director of IAHW for IAAH starting this month, with founding director Dr. Laura Offutt stepping into a senior advisory role. Mentors/advisors and adolescent recruitment will start right after new year. We hope many of you will continue or start to help supporting youth led activities in your country or your community. Again, more details to follow soon.
IAAH is collaborating on a project to help the World Health Organization revise and update the WHO global standards and competencies for adolescent health. We will be reaching out to many of you for consultation on the content of these documents in 2024, to help make them most useful for the field. Again, more details will follow soon.
Wishing you all health, happiness, and safety in the coming holiday seasons.
Jonathan D. Klein, MD, MPH President, International Association for Adolescent Health